In any event, last Saturday at the Hamilton Road Games Group, Andy and Kevin decided to try the set of rules called "5 Men at Kursk" by Nordic Weasel games. It's a skirmish game using a very small number of figures - as few as 5. I blogged a while ago about the sister game of medieval gaming called Chevauche, which made for a very satisfying small game. Andy was eager to play the WWII game using his extensive collection of plastic 54mm figures. In truth, although the game was set for 15mm or 28mm figures, when the ranges are played with (usually doubled), it works well for 54mm figs.
In the first game, I played the Germans defending a ruined farm house and ridge against Soviet troops. Both sides had a commander, a light machine gun and loader, and some other infantry, the Soviets having the advantage of numbers and more submachine guns... which seemed right. (Photos by Andy and myself)
|The German defenders in place at the beginning of the game.|
|A low ridge where the Soviet troops would set up once the giant set of rules were removed.|
As it was, My LMG worked to keep the Soviets' heads down and they had to crawl around a lot. The MG-42 also handed out some casualties. The Soviet DP LMG wasn't quite so effective primarily because my dice rolling was astounding, especially to me. (In the game, a 1 might would and a 6 kills, 2-5 having no effect. If a 1 is rolled, the man is "down" until one of his mates checks on him. Then a die is rolled and he might be just stunned or he might be out of the game, depending on the die roll.
The Soviets decided to to a left hook and send some troopers over the bridge on their left to flank the farm house where the German LMG was holed up. I sent a trooper and the officer with his SMG to bolster the ruined house. Just in time, too. The Soviets stayed low and advanced on the house, while causing two troopers and the officer to be frightened and take cover. They began to exchange grenades over a low stone wall.
On the German left, two soldiers came down the hill and assaulted the Soviet LMG from the base of the copse of trees, first using grenades. One man was taken out by a Russian grenade while the other one came on through the trees and attempted to hand-to-hand the LMG gunner. It didn't work well. In the end, the Soviets losses were too much to bear and the German defenders were declared the winner.
|The fortified ruin of a farm house with the Wehrmacht defenders.|
|The sand-bag firebase further down the ridge.|
|The reinforcement arrives|
|A Soviet SMG trooper advanced behind the cover of the bridge stone railing.|
|The Soviets behind their low ridge, keeping their heads down.|
|The bridge and the small stream from the other end of the table.|
I'd like to see this game set up for WWI. It could be quite interesting, although some adjusting of the rules would be required.
|My German flanking force leaves the redoubt to take the fight to the pinned down Soviets.|
|A pre-game photo of the German force in the field works.|
|Soviets! Urrah! The DP-LMG peeks over the edge of the rise.|
|The German view of the Soviet starting point. The Soviets were considered to be crouching and crawling.|